The second symposium in the ANCB programme Borders and Territories: Identity in Place with Nadine Godehardt, Malkit Shoshan, and Lucas Verweij. After the kick-off event in March 2018, this second symposium in the series will deal with Spatial Representations of Connections and Disconnections and the transfer of geopolitical and socio-cultural imaginaries of the world. Each world map reveals a particular worldview with its deposited moral, political, or economical convictions. But maps can also be instruments to analyse contested political situations. Our speakers will bring together artistic, planning, and political persepectives: Lucas Verweij will look into how maps construct our worldview and
Borders: The Latest Architecture and News
The "After Schengen" photo series shows old border crossing points between different states in the European Union. After the Schengen agreement, most of these old checkpoints remain abandoned and out of service, allowing us to gaze into the past from the present. It causes many reflections, especially at a moment when European Union project is heavily discussed.
This Underground Bathhouse on the Korean Border Questions Architecture's Role in Geopolitical Tension
Since 1953, the 160-mile (260 kilometer) strip of land along the Korean Peninsula's 38th parallel has served as a Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ is more than a border; it's a heavily guarded, nearly four-mile-wide (6 kilometer) buffer zone between the two countries. Each military stays behind its own country's edge of the zone, perpetually awaiting potential conflict, and access to the interior of the zone itself is unyieldingly limited. Apart from the landmines and patrolling troops, the interior of the DMZ also holds thriving natural ecosystems that have been the subject of studies on what happens when wildlife is allowed to flourish in the absence of human contact.
In a competition that asked participants to design an underground bathhouse near the Kaesong Industrial Park, a (currently suspended) cooperative economic project that employs workers from both North and South Korea, research initiative Arch Out Loud imagined a DMZ that accommodates non-military structures that are typically seen as out of place in areas of such sensitivity and tension. The winning proposal by Studio M.R.D.O and Studio LAM utilizes the performative element of a bathhouse, where visitors are both audience members and actors, to the address the tensions—both geopolitical, from its surrounding environment, and personal, from the related emotions visitors carry with them—between both groups.
Citizens of central Europe, perhaps uniquely in the world, are used to a life of no borders and free movement between nations. Following two devastating wars fought primarily on European soil, the formation of the early European Union in the 1950s paved the way for a more liberal, less isolated continent. It was not until the signing of the Schengen Treaty in 1985 (which came into effect in 1995) that the majority of borders were truly dissolved and travelling between nations, cultures, and communities became as simple as walking down the road.
Ignacio Evangelista's series of photographs entitled After Schengen examine the remnants of the old, abandoned crossing points that still exist across the Union. No longer necessary to maintain a country's independent sovereignty, and almost twenty years since the revolutionary pact was ratified, these palimpsests of border control remain as striking today as when they when delineated the closed boundaries between nations.
See a selection of the collection after the break...